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Types Of Damages In Personal Injury Cases

By: Fred Moore | Apr 24, 2019

Generally, compensation in personal injury cases is intended to make an injured party “whole” and may include both economic and noneconomic damages. If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one, our personal injury attorneys at Moore Law Firm can help you understand the types of damages to which you may be entitled.

Types Of Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are intended to compensate an injured party for their damages and losses. In most personal injury cases, a combination of special compensatory damages and general compensatory damages is awarded.

Special Damages

Special damages are quantifiable losses such as medical expenses, lost wages and property damage. Although putting a monetary value on these types of damages may seem straightforward, many injured victims don’t realize the amount of expenses they may incur in the future and the impact their losses may have on their family. For example, if you’ve suffered permanent injury that requires ongoing care and you are unable to work, estimating the cost of future treatment and future loss of income can be tricky. That’s why seeking the counsel of an experienced personal injury lawyer after an accident is vital.

General Damages

General compensatory damages like pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of companionship or consortium and loss of enjoyment of life are subjective. Each case is unique, and there is no set formula for determining general damages. To properly understand which types of general damages may apply to your particular situation, it’s best to seek the counsel of a skilled personal injury attorney who can build a solid case for general damages and pursue all avenues to ensure you receive maximum compensation.

Punitive Damages

If a defendant’s behavior was so outrageous or reckless that it can be established that they knew their actions would lead to injury or harm to another, the injured party may be entitled to punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are not designed to compensate plaintiffs. They are intended to punish negligent parties for their egregious actions and deter them and others from committing similar wrongful acts. Alabama has strict requirements and monetary limits pertaining to punitive damages, and they are awarded in only a small percentage of cases.  It is essential to have an attorney who is well-versed in the nuances of Alabama law review your case before you seek punitive damages.

Wrongful Death Damages

If a person’s death was caused by someone else’s negligence, the loved ones of the deceased may be entitled to wrongful death damages. Alabama wrongful death law is complex, and only the administrator of a deceased person’s estate may be entitled to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against any liable parties, solely for punitive damages. This means that the estate of the deceased person is seeking punitive damages on the deceased person’s behalf, not to compensate the deceased’s loved ones for their losses.

Determining whether you even have a valid wrongful death claim can be challenging. Not only that, you must be able to prove that another party’s negligence caused the death of your loved one. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help you find justice on your loved one’s behalf and work to recover the maximum compensation allowed by Alabama law.

Contact A Personal Injury Attorney

If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved and need assistance determining which types of damages you may recover, call Moore Law Firm at 251-445-7602 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.